Apple will include 4G LTE connectivity in its next iPhone, according to a leak from Taiwan
Apple’s next iPhone will support 4G LTE connectivity, according to a new report by DigiTimes.
“A new version of iPhone to be launched in the second half of 2012 is very likely to support LTE as well,” suggested the publication’s 12 March article, which cited unnamed “smartphone makers” based in Taiwan.
While the DigiTimes track record is sometimes spotty when it comes to Apple rumours, the appearance of 4G LTE on the latest iPad is nonetheless a strong indicator that the next iPhone will follow suit.
During the New York City unveiling of the iPhone 4 on Verizon in January 2011, then-Apple COO Tim Cook suggested that adapting the device to LTE would have resulted in “compromises” that Apple refused to make. In the year-plus since that event, Apple’s engineers have presumably wrestled with the best way to install a 4G LTE antenna in a small form-factor without compromising its design or performance.
Although the next iPhone’s release is almost certainly many months away, rumours about the device’s possible features have been drifting around the blogosphere since late last year. In January, Apple-centric blog 9to5Mac reported that the “iPhone 5” would feature a bigger screen and a redesigned casing. That report cited a “reliable source at Foxconn in China”, referring to the factory where iPhones are made.
Over the summer of 2011, analysts and pundits seemed certain the company would release an iPhone 5 with a radically altered design and powerful new hardware. In October, however, Apple executives unveiled the iPhone 4S, whose exterior seemed virtually identical to the iPhone 4.
Despite that similarity, a collection of new features – including Siri, a voice-activated “digital personal assistant” – quickly helped the new smartphone become a bestseller.
For its fiscal first quarter ended 31 December, Apple reported sales of some 27.04 million iPhones. During the 24 January earnings call, Apple chief executive Tim Cook attributed the iPhone’s robust sales numbers to a combination of what he called “breathtaking customer reception” as well as pent-up demand from a particularly long gap between new iPhone releases.
In order to sustain that sort of sales run, inevitably, Apple will need to release a next-generation iPhone capable of matching or surpassing rival devices running Google Android and Windows Phone. That could very well mean the next iPhone comes with 4G LTE support.
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